Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Inspect insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact County Line Mechanical LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at County Line Mechanical LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.